Under the WorkCover system, if you don’t agree with a decision made by the insurance company, you don’t have to accept it – you can fight them through Conciliation.
The Accident Compensation Conciliation Service (ACCS) is the independent body that acts as a type of mediator between you and the insurer. If you disagree with something the insurer has done, or they have not done something you need them to, then you simply lodge a request for conciliation form.
The ACCS will allocate your dispute to a conciliator whose job is to try and resolve the dispute between you and the insurer. This might be done by email or telephone but is more often at a meeting called a conciliation conference. The meeting is informal and nothing to be nervous about.
Important points to note:
- the conciliation form should be lodged within 60 days of the insurer’s decision. If this does not occur, you will need to attach a covering letter explaining the delay
- you must attach a copy of the decision you are disputing. This can be a copy of an email. If it is about a failure to respond, attach a copy of the original request and all chase-ups
- conciliation is an informal process so you do not need to bring a lawyer. You can bring a support person such as a friend or family member, as well as a representative such as a union delegate. There are also organisations such as WorkCover Assist or Union Assist who can attend the conciliation to assist you.
- you should seek legal advice before accepting a limited offer or agreeing to be referred to a Medical Panel.
For free advice about your rights and entitlements under the WorkCover compensation system, contact our Adviceline on (03) 9321 9988.